Shelf wear (shelfwear) describes damage caused over time to a book by placing and removing a book from a shelf. This damage is caused by the book rubbing against the shelf, causing the edges and cover to become worn down or even torn. The book can also receive damage from neighboring books rubbing against the front and back covers causing warping and other damage. The spine and head of the book can also receive damage from being pulled from the shelf without caution.
Shelfwear can be maintained with caution used when storing books, paying attention to tension when removing or placing a book, also sometimes placing the books on their sides can reduce shelfwear damage.